Published at 12th of January 2021 02:18:47 PM
“Younger Sister Xiaocao, if my guess is correct, these new desserts should be from your ‘Yu’s Frozen Dessert and Pastries Store’, right?” He Wanning ate the tiramisu in front of her in small, delicate bites as she savored the delicious flavors . Her eyes curved up into small crescents in enjoyment, and the pleased expression on her face resembled a sleepy little kitten who had just eaten its fill and was basking itself in some warm sunshine .
The other young noble maidens at the nearby tables were also tasting these new delicacies . All of them perked up their ears to eavesdrop more closely on the conversation occurring at the main table .
Yu Xiaocao personally preferred Black Forest gateau herself . She swallowed down the bite of cake in her mouth and her little pink tongue quickly licked the corner of her lips to wipe away any remnants of chocolate before she mysteriously said, “Older Sister He, this time you guessed wrong ah!”
“How could I possibly guess wrong? Other than the Yu’s Dessert Store, what other place could possibly come out with such unique and eye-opening desserts? After all, aren’t places like ‘Daoxiang Village’ only able to make out-dated and old fashioned pastries?” Prior to the opening of the Yu’s Dessert Store, ‘Daoxiang Village’ was He Wanning’s favorite place to get desserts and pastries . However, once Xiaocao’s family business opened, she had an abrupt change of heart and became a diehard and loyal fan of the Yu’s Pastries Store’s products .
On the other hand, Yuan Xueyan picked up a piece of chocolate that didn’t look very special and placed it into her mouth . This was the first time she had ever eaten something that slowly released a dense and rich flavor on her tongue . Within the bitterness of the chocolate was a faint taste of sweetness . She usually never became enamored with delicious foods, but this piece of chocolate had actually managed to send her into a dreamlike reverie .
When she heard her good friend’s words, she lightly replied, “I believe Younger Sister Xiaocao is trying to say that these desserts aren’t a product of the Yu’s family business . However, that doesn’t mean that they are unrelated to her . In my opinion, these desserts were personally made by Younger Sister Xiaocao and they can’t even be bought at the Yu’s Frozen Dessert and Pastries Store right now . ”
“Older Sister Yuan is still as brilliantly sharp as before . This younger sister is starting to wonder if you have the ability to peer into other people’s hearts ah!” Yu Xiaocao complimented her as she picked up a piece of wine infused chocolate and placed it into Yuan Xueyan’s hands . She watched avidly as the older girl bit into the chocolate . The abrupt change in Yuan Xueyan’s expression belied the fact that she had tasted the very sweet liquor that came out of the chocolate shell . Yu Xiaocao stifled a giggle and the mischievous look in her eyes made her resemble a little squirrel who had just stolen some pine nuts . Xiaocao obviously knew beforehand that Yuan Xueyan wasn’t very fond of sweet foods and definitely didn’t like the taste of alcohol . She was deliberately teasing the other girl!
Yuan Xueyan endured the bombardment of the two flavors she hated the most in her mouth and picked up her teacup to drink a large sip of tea to dilute the sweetness . She glared at the little lass who was still surreptitiously giggling and huffed as she said, “You naughty girl . You’re clearly asking for a beating, right?”
Royal Princess Minglan was quite flabbergasted by this . Just what sort of flavor could make the usually cold and aloof beauty reveal such an exaggerated expression? She picked up a piece of wine infused chocolate and placed it into her mouth .
“Eh? This candy actually has some liquor in it and it’s quite sweet . It tastes quite good ah! However, Older Sister Yuan hates the taste of alcohol the most . Younger Sister Xiaocao, did you give it to her on purpose?” Royal Princess Minglan savored the somewhat sickly sweet chocolate and gazed at Yuan Xueyan, who was currently rinsing her mouth with some tea, with a teasing look .
Yu Xiaocao let out a long sigh, “In life, one needs to constantly try new things and challenge one’s set thoughts . It’s important to experience new things constantly . I was only trying to help Older Sister Yuan experience more things ah!”
Yuan Xueyan picked up another piece of dark chocolate and let it slowly melt in her mouth . She unhurriedly said, “I’m quite upset now! For an apology gift, you need to give me a box of this type of candy . Otherwise, don’t even think of obtaining my forgiveness!”
“And me, and me!! I want the ones that have fruit filling and the ones that have cream filling, and I also . . . what should I do? Younger Sister Xiaocao, can’t you give me a box of each?” He Wanning wasn’t practiced at shamelessly asking for chocolates like her other friend in a roundabout way, so she could only directly voice her wishes . She pulled at Xiaocao’s hand, swaying it back and forth .
The other young maidens at the main table also looked at Xiaocao with fervent gazes . Their eyes glittered with anticipation . Xiaocao couldn't handle the dozen or so ‘feverish looks’, so she hurriedly assented to their request and stated that she would give everyone two boxes of chocolates as compensation . As for Yuan Xueyan, she got an extra box of toffee to soothe her ruffled feelings .
The noble young maidens sitting at the other tables were so jealous that they almost turned green . Every table at Imperial Prince Jing’s Estate today had two boxes of chocolates and two plates of pastries for the guests . However, when split between all of the people at the table, each person could only get a couple pieces of chocolate at the most . However, there were very few people who didn’t become enamored with these new candies after tasting them . Unfortunately, earlier Miss Yu had stated quite clearly that these couldn't even be found at the Yu’s Frozen Dessert and Pastries Store . After eating some here, they could only return empty handed with these fleeting memories in mind . It made them feel quite unhappy .
However, that was not the same for Miss Yu’s good friends who were sitting at the main table . They, on the other hand, received two boxes of chocolates each as a present . All of them were guests at Imperial Prince Jing’s Estate and all of them were the daughters of high-ranking officials at court . The only difference was how close of a relationship they had with Miss Yu, but that was enough to result in such a large disparity in treatment . This truly caused a lot of people to feel incredibly jealous!
But this was something they had no power to change . After all, the chocolates hadn’t been provided by Imperial Prince Jing’s Estate . Instead, Miss Yu was the one who brought them over as a treat for everyone involved . This was also the reason why many noble maidens now wanted to enter her little circle . Everyone in the capital knew that Miss Yu was very generous to those who were close to her . However, that small circle of hers wasn’t something that anyone could just enter willy-nilly . The person needed to get the personal approval of Miss Yu and that was a difficult thing to obtain . Miss Yu usually treated everyone around her in a polite and courteous manner . However, there were only a select few that she saw as her own people and treated accordingly .
In fact, if one thought more about this, it wasn’t surprising it was like this! After all, who would treat someone, who had obvious ulterior motives, in a sincere manner? If one wanted sincere treatment from someone else, the first thing that person should do was to show their own sincerity . Who didn’t know this relationship law?
Later on, it was Miss Yu Wanqing who had asked the question that everyone was harboring in their thoughts, “Older Sister Yu, when will these pastries, chocolates and candies be available at the Yu’s Frozen Dessert and Pastries Store? I can finish two boxes of these delicious chocolates by myself in two days, let alone all of my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews . There’s just not enough to go around!”
Within the heated pavilion silence prevailed . It was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop . Everyone was holding their breath, waiting for Xiaocao’s answer to this important question .
Xiaocao had also sensed the difference in the atmosphere . Without thinking too much, she replied in a regretful manner, “Whether it is the chocolates, tiramisu, Black Forest gateau . . . all of them require a raw ingredient called cocoa beans from the western hemisphere . This time, the trade ships only brought back a limited amount . It’s enough for me to make some desserts and pastries for my own use . However, if I decided to bring these desserts out for the public, I’m afraid the supply would only last for a month’s worth before it was gone . Thus, I’ve decided not to sell the pastries and candies here to the public . ”
“Ahhhhhh——” Yu Wanqing let out a disappointed scream and it was likely everyone else was also screaming within their hearts, “Then, does that mean, in the future, I won’t be able to eat such delicious and unique snacks anymore? What should I do?”
He Wanning shoved a coffee candy into her mouth and crunched on it . She had a wicked smile on her face as she said, “What do you mean what should you do? If you want to eat some, then we can go together to Younger Sister Xiaocao’s place and ‘seize the goods from the tyrant’! If she dares to hoard it for herself, just watch as I tickle her to death!” As she spoke, she waved her two forefingers in front of Xiaocao in a threatening manner .
“Older Sister He, you’ve actually learned to use the phrase ‘seize the goods from the tyrant’! I’m not sure if the Grand Princess Royal will blame me for taking you down the wrong path ah!” Yu Xiaocao almost couldn't resist laughing at the thought that she had ended up teaching some old rural sayings to a noble young maiden in the capital .
“My paternal grandmother wouldn’t blame you at all! After all, she often lectures me and tells me that I need to learn more from you instead of spending all of my time like a tomboy causing trouble . When have I ever caused trouble though? I don’t even know who’s her blood-related granddaughter anymore!”
Xiaocao truly had a knack of getting along with the older generation . The grand princess royal was quite partial to her . Sometimes, even He Wanning, as her blood-related granddaughter, became jealous at the other girl’s treatment . However, whenever she thought of her adorable new nephew and niece back at the residence, He Wanning felt at ease again . The fact that Younger Sister Xiaocao was able to cure her older brother’s problem and relieve the hereditary crisis at Marquis Anning’s Estate was truly a good thing . Thus, having her paternal grandmother dote on the other girl a bit was something she was more than willing to allow .
Li Mengqi knew that her family’s background was inferior to the other people present here and sighed, “These desserts and candies truly require expensive and rare ingredients . Even if they were to be sold on the market now, that doesn’t mean that most ordinary families would be able to afford them!”
Although Li Mengru was a concubine-born daughter, she was getting quite a large dividend from her shares at ‘Blossoming Beauty’ . She was probably the little god of wealth in her family right now! When she heard her sister mention this, she smiled and said, “Older Sister, if these pastries were up for sale, this younger sister would buy them for you!”
“Then that would be awesome . This older sister will have to hug onto your large thigh, you little god of wealth!” In the past two years, Li Mengqi had become a lot closer to this younger concubine-born sister of hers . Thus, her tone when speaking to her had also become more intimate too .
Yu Xiaocao grinned as she watched the two sisters converse with each other . Then she disseminated some good news, “Although this year I won’t be selling these new desserts, that doesn’t in later years they won’t be sold ah!”
“What are you saying? That in the future we’ll have enough raw ingredients?” Royal Princess Minglan was also very interested in this problem and couldn’t help but ask a follow up question .
Yu Xiaocao didn’t continue keeping her audience in suspense and proclaimed, “Royal Prince Yang has an island in the south . He opened up the land there and created a cocoa and coffee plantation . Those two plantations will only raise cocoa and coffee bean trees . After two to three years pass, these trees should be able to produce enough cocoa and coffee beans to supply the dessert shop . At that time, we won’t have to worry about not having enough raw ingredients . Then, you all won’t have to worry about not being able to eat chocolate mousse and Black Forest gateau, right?”
He Wanning had a foolishly happy smile on her face as she waxed, “I still need to wait two to three years ah! I don’t care . In these next couple of years, you need to prepare yourself . From time to time, I’m going to rush over so you’ll have to prepare some pastries and candies . If not . . . hmph hmph!”
Yuan Xueyan immediately burst her bubble, “Younger Sister Xiaocao is already sixteen this year . By the standards of the Great Ming court, the best time for women to marry is when they turn eighteen . In two to three years, she’ll become a married woman . As for you, you’re going to become Lu Hao’s wife very soon . Are you still shameless enough then to rush over to Younger Sister Xiaocao’s in-law’s residence to beg for food?”
That fellow Lu Hao had always come over during the events and outings that Xiaocao organized in the past . As time passed, before other people realized it, he and He Wanning, the little chili pepper, had become a loving but quarrelsome couple . Their families had already come to a marriage agreement . At the end of autumn this year, everyone would be able to drink wine at their wedding .
“Why not? That guy Lu Hao is also great buddies with Royal Prince Yang, whereas Younger Sister Xiaocao and I are a pair of close sisters . It’s not as if our good relationship will change after we get married . Can Royal Prince Yang just send me away if I come over to visit her?” He Wanning suddenly thought of that cold and icy face . Her heart shivered for a second and she no longer felt as confident as before .
“Older Sister Yu, you really decided to marry Royal Prince Yang ah? That face of his is so scary looking though . Are you sure you don’t want to think more about this?” Yu Wanqing had also seen Zhu Junyang before . She acted like a mouse around a cat whenever she was near him . Although Royal Prince Yang currently treated Older Sister Yu quite well, could she endure even one blow from him with her tiny figure if she accidentally angered him in the future?